Journal of International Migration and Integration

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 363-379

First online:

Circulating Capitals Between Poland and Scotland: a Transnational Perspective on European Labour Mobility

  • Marta MoskalAffiliated withCentre for Educational Sociology, University of Edinburgh Email author 

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The paper discusses the explanatory use of the concept of transnationalism in relation to contemporary patterns of intra-European mobility, drawing on evidence from two qualitative studies of new labour migration from Poland to Scotland. It suggests that the transnational way of life of migrants is leading to the creation of a European space conceived in terms of a new kind of socio-cultural configuration. The paper draws on the concept of capitals (economic, social and cultural) derived from the work of Pierre Bourdieu. In particular, it uses these concepts to reflect on the gains and losses in capital of Polish migrants in Scotland and in their home country. It questions the classical brain drain approach to labour migration by giving more nuance picture of the migrants’ lives characterised by circulation of capitals and simultaneous commitment to more than one country.


European Union Labour migration Qualitative research Transnationalism Economic Social and cultural capital Polish migration